USGA announces U.S. Women's Open international qualifying

International players have won 13 of the past 19 U.S. Women’s Opens, and their presence will be even stronger in 2014. The USGA announced March 3 the introduction of international qualifying for the women, with sites in South Korea, China, Japan and England.

For the past 10 years, England and Japan have hosted international sectional qualifying sites for the men’s U.S. Open.

The number of qualifying spots available won’t be known for any site – domestic or international – until the close of entries at 5 p.m. April 30.

The four international qualifiers will be held Monday, May 19 at Nanshan International Training Center (Garden Course) in China, Higashi Nagoya Country Club in Japan, Woo Jeong Hills Country Club in South Korea and Buckinghamshire Golf Club in England.

South Koreans have won five of the past six USWOs, including 2008 and 2013 champion Inbee Park.

“Since Se Ri Pak’s historic victory in 1998, Korean women have enjoyed tremendous success at the U.S. Women’s Open and across professional golf,” said Kwang-soo Hur, president of the Korea Golf Association. “We are very happy that more Korean players will have the opportunity to try to qualify for this most prestigious championship.”

The 69th U.S. Women’s Open will be held June 19-22 on Pinehurst No. 2, the week after the men’s U.S. Open on the same course.

The USGA also announced a change to the handicap limit for the USWO, lowering it from 4.4 to 2.4. The limit had been unchanged since 1972.

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